Postman wrote: “…We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.”
As we know now, Sesame Street definitely undermined the traditional schooling methods that dominated the educational landscape for many years. When reflecting on this idea, I can’t help but to think this was a good thing for many different reasons. When I think about the idea of traditional school, these things come to mind:
Direct Instruction, textbooks, worksheets, teacher led, standardized testing, right or wrong, classroom, rows, desks, conformity, notes, and quiet.
Although I was able to successfully make my way through a traditional school system, I truly believe that the changes and differences in the educational systems have been for the better. When I think about a more modern educational system, these things come to mind:
Collaboration, flexibility, inquiry, varied assessment, engaging, fun, creativity, critical thinking, fluid, student led, and technology.
As Alia Wong writes, “Sesame Street was, and in some ways remains, revolutionary in its pedagogy. The show was launched at a turning point in thinking among child psychologists and educators—a time when experts were abandoning the belief that cognitive ability was entirely inherited.” Even though Sesame Street was launched many years ago, you can see that it had a profound impact on the development of many young people.
In my personal experience in the classroom, I have always had positive experience with my school’s bring your own device program. As I teach in a 1:1 classroom environment, I have a lot less use for personal devices in my classroom. Nonetheless, I see enormous benefits for teachers trying to use technology in their classroom. Some positive reasons for supporting and implementing a BYOD program include, but not limited to:
- Research and gathering information. Although this is one of the most obvious reason for bringing a device into the classroom, this rarely occurs in the traditional classroom. In the traditional classroom model, the teacher is the one that keeps all of the knowledge. And when the teacher doesn’t have the answer in the traditional classroom, it’s generally found in textbooks, from one perspective, and not always the most current. Shifting towards a modern classroom, students have endless access to information, from varying perspectives, and modern or relevant to their lives. Not only does the information change and improve, it allows students to take ownership of their learning and critically analyze the information they find while researching.
- Resources and tools allow student to create. Educational technology is continuing to evolve and develop at a rapid pace. When leveraged properly, students have the ability to download and use many apps and resources to help them create. Whether it be Flipgrid, Adobe Spark, or Seesaw, proper use of technology in the classroom gives students many opportunities that otherwise would not be available. In the traditional classroom, students are often severely limited in terms of the tools and resources they can use to create in the classroom. Bringing your own device to the classroom gives teachers and students so many opportunities when it come to creating in the classroom/
- Assessment tools. In the traditional classroom, assessment methods and techniques were often very similar. In my experience, I remember writing so many tests when I was in school. Technology in the classroom allows teachers to use many different tools for formative and summative assessment. Formative, Quizziz, and Socrative are just a few examples of ways that teachers can use technology to improve and add to their assessment techniques. Not only do teachers have access to these assessment methods, they can also utilize some of the “traditional” assessment methods. Teachers can also use many formative assessment tools to better their teaching practice.
These are just a few of the reasons as to why I fully support BYOD programs in school. Not only does it provide students with many opportunities to learn in the classroom, it truly breaks down the classroom walls and allow students to expand their learning beyond their individual space. Connecting and collaborating with those outside of your classroom provides great opportunities for students to see other perspectives that exist in our world.
As this week’s presentation highlighted, there has been some major advancements and changes in AV technology throughout the years. Overall, I think that most of the changes have moved education in the right direction.
Even though I fully support the use of AV technology in the classroom to advance and extend learning opportunities, there are many challenges that come with this increased technology use in the classroom. Whether it be the increase in screen time, exposure to fake news, or technology addiction, I think it’s important that teachers find a balance in their classroom. Finding a balance between “traditional” and “modern” methods create an ideal learning experience for all students.